Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Battle Of The Eyeshadow Pencils!

I know I've been a little MIA the past week or so - I've been up to my tonsils in exams and work and to be perfectly honest I've only resurfaced from all the stress yesterday.

Anyway, since I'm back, I thought I'd do a 'Battle' post! This is probably going to become a series; I'm going to be putting similar products from different brands and seeing how they perform against each other.

Today is all about eyeshadow pencils. Now, eyeshadow pencils - or eyeshadow sticks - are a cream shadow housed in a stick form. They're extremely convenient, when used on their own, or can be used as a base for powder shadows.

Every brand seems to have their version of it - right from drugstore to high-end. So, what's the deal on these? Does a higher price = better quality?

Let me introduce you to the contestants:

From the drugstore

  • Jordana 12 Hr Made To Last Eyeshadow Pencil
  • Milani Shadow Eyez
Mid-end
  • Tarte EmphasEyes Clay Liner
  • Tarte SmolderEyes Clay Liner
High-end
  • Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Stick



The test:

Swatches of the product were applied on the hand. I then waited 15 seconds, then vigorously and forcefully rubbed to check for smudging and wear.

The results:

1. Jordana



Price: $3.99
Verdict: The color held pretty well, but the shimmer did smudge a bit. Still, for the price point, I can't be too picky. It makes a good base for powder shadows. It also does fade during the course of the day.

2. Milani



Price: $7.49
Verdict: I don't have to tell you; it's there in the pictures! This doesn't budge. Seriously! Once you put it on, you have a very short time to smudge it out, but once it sets, it's pretty much set. It fades very minimally during the day, but not very noticeably so. I would consider this the best product in this class available from the drugstore!

3. Tarte EmphasEyes



Price: $19.00
Verdict: It takes a longer time to set, which is good because it gives you a little more time to play. However it not only rubs off easily, it also fades at an alarming rate during the day. Do not recommend.

4. Tarte SmolderEyes



Price: $22.00
Verdict: These are creamy, smooth, and do take a while to set (similar to the EmphasEyes) but they're more sturdy than the EmphasEyes. They don't smudge, and they don't fade noticeably during the day. However, I find them a little difficult to smudge, and I suspect that dry lids might find them difficult to work with.

5. Mally 



Price: $25.00
Verdict: Okay, the 'After' picture isn't very attractive at all. These take some time to set, I agree. BUT. It really makes them easier to work with. Usually with shadow sticks I find that you can only use one color; however with these, you can actually use two or more of the shadow sticks to create a more complex look. And they also don't move at all once they set, even on hella oily lids like mine. 

6. Laura Mercier



Price: $28.00
Verdict: These are raved about, and I think I can see why. They have a lovely, creamy, smooth formula. Yes, they do take >15 seconds to set, but like the Mally sticks, this just gives you a chance to use different colors. The formula is something those of you with drier lids will appreciate. I personally like using them for a quick smokey eye. However, they can be rubbed off (if you touch your eyes too much) but they don't smudge or move about or crease.


So, what do I think? Well, I definitely think that paying more doesn't necessarily mean you get a better product. I also think that sometimes paying more might be worth it, because you get a better formula.

Hmm, that seems contradictory, doesn't it?

Well, let me sum it up:
Best for the price overall: Milani Shadow Eyes
Best formula: Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks
Highly recommended: Mally Evercolor Shadow Sticks
Worst: Tarte EmphasEyes Clay Liners

The best way to buy the LM Caviar Sticks and the Mally Evercolor Sticks are during the holidays - these companies have holiday sets that have either mini-size or full-size versions of these products for a very reasonable price. So keep an eye out for those!

What do you think? Do you use shadow sticks? What are your favorites?

6 comments:

  1. Rimmel and Kiko have great ones! Oh no, I need some of these now -_-

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    1. I really, really want to try the Kiko ones, the have some amazing shades!

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  2. I want to try Mally and Milani! both look promising

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    1. You can't go wrong with either one! They're both really nice :)

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  3. I really want to try the Milani one in Almond Cream (after I keep hearing Cora at Vintage or Tacky rave about how it's the perfect eyeshadow base when you're super pale!), and of course I want to own basically *all* of the LM caviar sticks ;-) But you knew that already, LOL! I love the way Jungle looks against your skintone in these pics! (as a random aside).

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    1. Hahaha I'm obsessed with the LM caviar sticks too! And thank you - Jungle is one of my faves for a quick smokey eye :)

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